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CAI Slams Boycott Of Irish Household Tax

by Jason Gorringe,, London

20 December 2011

Ireland's taxpayers should not boycott the new Household Charge, regardless of any legitimate concerns they may have about it, Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) has said.

CAI has slammed the plans of nine rebel members of the Irish parliament to boycott the levy as inappropriate, and says their calls should be ignored.

In anticipation of a full property tax, set to be introduced in 2013, the Irish government is to implement a EUR100 (USD130) Household Charge as of January, 2012. Eligible taxpayers will have three months to comply with the payment, or face late payment penalties of EUR10 a month.

The initiative has come under strong criticism and a group of lawmakers, led by the Socialist member Joe Higgins, has threatened to refuse to pay the tax. He and his colleagues have urged the public to follow their lead and refuse to comply.

CAI has voiced its own concerns about the measure, noting that there are legitimate issues with its application where substantial amounts of Stamp Duty have recently been paid on the property.

However, it argues that Ireland's strong tax compliance culture is being undermined by calls for a boycott. Moreover, the group points out, it is illegal and undemocratic not to comply with any tax raised through correct procedure in parliament.

Commenting, John Hannaway, president of CAI, said: “We simply cannot choose to disregard taxes and levies on personal or ideological grounds. A strong compliance culture is essential for any modern democracy. The State should not have to divert scarce resources to combat tax evasion, nor should the confidence of honest taxpayers in the system be undermined by the dishonesty of the few”.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | tax compliance | Ireland | property tax | law | stamp duty | penalties

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